The best game controllers for the iPhone

Games are an integral part of the Apple ecosystem — look no further than Apple Arcade and the abundance of iPhone games if you have any doubts. Sure, many games work perfectly well on the iPhone or iPad touchscreen, but some with more advanced interfaces and deep console-like gameplay cry out for more flexible controls.

Apple came to the rescue as far back as iOS 7, released in June of 2013, with one feature that flew under the radar: The addition of an MFi game controller SDK, which allowed third-party developers to create external game controllers compatible with iOS devices. This functionality has evolved to incorporate iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and Mac OS.

While Apple doesn’t make its own branded gamepad, third parties jumped in to pick up the slack. While many game controllers can do double duty for gamers who own Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation systems, our roundup of the best game controllers focuses on hardware that works best on your iOS device.

Rotor Riot Mfi Certified Gamepad Controller for iOS.

Rotor Riot MFi Certified Gamepad Controller

Pros

  • Apple MFi certified
  • Features L3 R3 functionality
  • Wired controller with pass through charging

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with PubG
  • Too lightweight for some games

Rotor Riot is an Apple MFi-certified gamepad controller that includes L3/R3 functionality for compatibility with over 1,000 apps and games. This wired controller offers gameplay with no lag time or latency — no skips, glitches, or blur. Pass-through charging lets you plug and play without draining your device. Companion app Ludu Mapp is compatible with games like Fortnite, Call Of Duty, and Madden 21. The gamepad connects with all Lightning-connected Apple devices running iOS 7 or later.

Rotor Riot Mfi Certified Gamepad Controller for iOS

Rotor Riot MFi Certified Gamepad Controller

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller.

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller

Pros

  • Ergonomic, flexible design
  • Widely compatible with cloud gaming services
  • Pass-through charging

Cons

  • Must remove iPhone case before use

This universal mobile gaming controller is designed to bring console-level control to your phone for gaming anywhere, anytime, with an ergonomic, flexible design. It features clickable analog thumbsticks and performance buttons, latency-free gameplay, and pass-through charging of your phone or tablet. It’s widely compatible with cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Stadia, Amazon Luna, GeForce Now, and Steam Link, as well as mobile games like Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite, Minecraft, Genshin Impact, Brawlhalla, and Asphalt 9. It’s also compatible with most iPhones including the X, 11, 12, 13, and 13 Max, though you must remove the case first.

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller/Gamepad for iPhone

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller

SteelSeries Nimbus+ Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller.

SteelSeries Nimbus+ Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller

Pros

  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Clickable L3/R3 buttons
  • Compatible with a wide variety of iOS devices

Cons

  • Pairing reported as glitchy on some devices
  • Some durability problems reported

The updated SteelSeries Nimbus+ Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller features Apple-licensed wireless connectivity and works with iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV alongside compatibility with thousands of game titles. With its built-in rechargeable battery, it can go for some 50 hours of gameplay on a single charge. Its D-Pad buttons feature a tactile click for fast and responsive feedback, while clickable L3/R3 buttons facilitate more input options across a variety of games.

SteelSeries Nimbus+ Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller

SteelSeries Nimbus+ Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller

Megadream Gamepad Controller for iOS.

Megadream Gamepad Controller for iOS

Pros

  • Simple Bluetooth connection
  • Supports most popular games
  • Large-capacity battery

Cons

  • Reported difficulty in aiming

The Megadream mobile game controller for iPhone is MFi certified by Apple and directly approved for iOS to play most controller games downloaded from the App Store. The controller requires no separate app — just connect via Bluetooth. The controller features a 400mAh large-capacity rechargeable battery that enables more than 18 hours of gameplay after a full charge. It supports games like Call of Duty, Modern Combat 5, and Asphalt 8/9. It’s compatible with iPhone models from the iPhone 13 down to the iPhone 6, and some Mac models as well.

Gamepad Controller for iOS, Megadream Wireless MFi Gaming Gamepad Joystick for iPhone 13/12/Pro/Mini, iPhone 11/11 Pro/Max, iPhone Xs, XR X, 8 Plus, 8, iPad, MacBook, iOS 13.4+ - Direct Play

Megadream Gamepad Controller for iOS

PXN Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad.

PXN Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad

Pros

  • Well made and comfortable to use
  • Compatible with most iOS devices
  • Bluetooth connection

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with the Mac

This game controller is easy to use by connecting the MFi controller and your iOS device via Bluetooth. It’s compatible with most App Store games, like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Call of Duty. The iOS gamepad is made of high-quality rubber and oil, and its special finish offers consistent grip and a comfortable, anti-slip, smooth feel while playing, including a stretchable 4-inch to 6-inch clip. It works with most iPhone models, as well as the iPad Pro, iPod Touch 5, and Apple TV — but not the Mac.

Mfi Game Controller for Iphone PXN Speedy(6603) iOS Gaming Controllers for Call of Duty Gamepad with Phone Clip for Apple TV, Ipad, iPhone (Black)

PXN Wireless Bluetooth Gamepad

Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller for iPhone

Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller for iPhone

Pros

  • Pass-through charging
  • Compatible with a wide variety of iOS devices
  • Simulates console gaming experience

Cons

  • Does not work with the Mac

This controller features responsive analog triggers, tactile buttons, and clickable thumbsticks for an authentic mobile gaming experience when you charge and use your favorite headset as you play. It connects to your iPhone’s Lightning port for responsive gameplay on the latest iPhones. An adapter is included for a better experience on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller for iPhone - Turn Your iPhone into a Handheld Gaming Console - Play Xbox, PlayStation, COD Mobile, Apple Arcade & More [1 Month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Included]

Backbone One Mobile Gaming Controller for iPhone

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